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Being a leader in a company is a crucial role. If you inspire and motivate your employees in the right way, your whole organization will achieve success. If you don’t, you risk irritating and even alienating them. If you don’t have your team’s buy-in, there’s no way they’re going to jump on board and go above and beyond to achieve your goals. 

The key to becoming an effective leader is self-awareness. You must know how your actions and words are perceived in order to capture the attention of your team. Here are some tips to determine whether you’re leading your team to success or driving them crazy. 

Be Decisive 

Your team is waiting for you to act. Sometimes they can’t move forward on something until you decide. Delay leads to paralysis, which leads to stagnation, which leads to decline, all of which kills your team’s motivation. Ultimately, you’re responsible for their performance. That can be a lot of pressure, but you can’t use it as an excuse to hem and haw over a decision. 

But Not too Decisive 

The opposite of indecisiveness is being too decisive, which isn’t terrible, but it can be if it means that you’re ignoring input from your team. Your employees are your boots on the ground, meaning that they often have more information than you do, so let them share their opinions. And sincerely consider those viewpoints as you make decisions. If you don’t, your team won’t feel appreciated or valued, and you’ll lose their respect. 

Control Your Impulses

It’s great that you’re passionate about your work, but you have to prioritize reason and logic over emotions. Leaders who react impulsively because they’re worried or nervous or excited about something tend to frustrate their employees. How do your employees know what to focus on if you change the goal line every few days? Instead, stay the course, ask for input, and make decisions that make sense. 

Value People’s Time

As a leader, you have some great goals that require that your team work really hard. Great, but make sure you’re being mindful of people’s time. Don’t underestimate how long certain tasks will take them. If you create an unsustainable pace, your employees will burn out and get frustrated. They need your encouragement and support, not unreasonable demands. 

Be Present

Nothing kills your team’s motivation quite like the impression that you’re lazy. If you’re hardly in the office, how can you expect that your team will work hard? Always put in as much effort as you expect your team to—or more. That doesn’t mean you have to be the first to arrive and the last to leave. It just means that you have to show up far more than you don’t and exemplify passion and enthusiasm for your team’s mission. 

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